Weekly Digest: Sci-fi Saturday Edition 6/8/14 – Sidonia no Kishi, Captain Earth

Sidnoia - 09 -2 Sidnoia - 09 -19 Captain Earth - 10 -10 Captain Earth - 10 -20

I’ll say this for Sidonia no Kishi – it’s certainly giving us an interesting love triangle.  Boy, placenta, and gender unspecified (though there is the annoying overachiever XO Midorikawa in there too).

Sidonia no Kishi – 09

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Sidnoia - 09 -11 Sidnoia - 09 -12 Sidnoia - 09 -13
Sidnoia - 09 -14 Sidnoia - 09 -15 Sidnoia - 09 -16
Sidnoia - 09 -17 Sidnoia - 09 -18 Sidnoia - 09 -20
Sidnoia - 09 -21 Sidnoia - 09 -22 Sidnoia - 09 -23

There was an interesting development in the world of Sidonia no Kishi this week, as the website Yaoron had a post which appeared to announce a second season, setting off celebrations among the fanbase, only to retract it later.  I certainly don’t know what’s really going on here but as I discussed last week, SnK (how did I just notice it has the same initials?) is looking like a decent-sized hit on disc, so such an announcement certainly would have made sense.

I really don’t know what’s planned here, but this was the first episode where I was acutely aware of events being skipped over.  The montage sequence featuring newly-promoted Tanikaze’s piloting exploits intercut with his visits to his best Gauna girl was quite well done, but there was a strong sense of big-time acceleration of events.  I don’t think those battles were especially important in the big picture, but it lends more credence to the idea that we’re headed towards some kind of engineered conclusion in three episodes.  That’s be a shame if sales end up as good as Stalker is predicting.

There was, however, quite a lot that one senses is important in the big picture.  We had an interesting scene where Kobayashi appeared to wake the clone of the arch-criminal scientist Ochiai from cryosleep or some similar effect – and in a secret chamber in Kunato’s mansion, to boot.  Ochiai swears before his lights are turned out again that Kobayashi is going to “need him” sooner or later, and there are hints that Kunato (who’s been watching this play out via hidden cameras) may try and team up with Ochiai to exact his revenge.  There’s much debate happening about the emigration of the pacifists (which I’m still highly suspicious about), and we find out that Izana’s “Grandma” (obviously one of the immortals, as she looks about 30) was the scientist who figured out how to produce people who can photosynthesize.

There’s also the clumsy romantic fumblings of Izana and Yuhata to consider (tough to be losing to a placenta – the enemy of my enemy is my friend?) but the real meat of the story surrounds the placenta.  The scientist in charge of researching her, Tahiro (no less than Satou Rina) brings in Nagate when Hoshijirou asks for him by name, and she seems to recognize him.  I especially loved the moment when she approached the barrier of her cage, pointed at him and mimicked his “Uwah!”, but the key here is that Tahiro notices Hoshijirou constantly staring at the place where the Kabizashi are stored.  Could the pacifists be right – might the Gauna only attack because the humans have those?  Did the humans already have them when the attack on Earth happened?   If not, it strikes me that they could be attacking based on detecting a certain level of technology.  Maybe the Gauna are the semi-sentient autoimmune system of a super-advanced race, effectively its white blood cells, programmed to wipe out any alien race that gets advanced enough to pose a threat.

Whatever the case may be, I sure as hell don’t see how it’s all going to come together in three weeks.  Stay tuned and hope for the best.

Captain Earth – 09

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Captain Earth - 10 -21 Captain Earth - 10 -22 Captain Earth - 10 -23

It’s now appearing as if the middle section of Captain Earth is going to consist largely of the weekly introductions of all the missing designer children.  Whatever you may think of that in narrative terms it kind of makes sense, since we’re likely to see that take us up to the cour break (it was revealed in the preview that there are only two more after this episode, and we met one of them already) with the story entering a new phase as the summer season kicks in.

This week’s entry is Lin – Planetary Gear name Lieben – played by none other than Megumi Han.  I’m anxious to see her get more lead roles because she’s displaying a ton of range, but for now Han-san seems mostly to be surfacing in supporting roles like this one, a designer child who’s much less dissimilar to her PG form than any of the others we’ve seen.  Lin is a biker chick with a need for speed, and participating in a shady research program called “Install” under the direction of a doctor who clearly knows a great deal about what’s really going on here than a simple college professor should.

Lieben gets the usual wake-up call (this time it’s Amara who gets the spit-trading honors) and her run in with the Midsummers Knights is pretty stock and trade to what we’ve come to expect from Captain Earth by now – long launch sequences, great animation, not a tremendous number of surprises.  The twist here is that she actually engages Daichi in conversation before they battle – the most interesting part of which is her reference to the PGs as the “real” humans” – and that he lets her slip away in the end, actually turning into a Kiltgang.  Fortunately this gives Teppei a chance to earn his stripes, as he’s been back at the lab working out his new capabilities with Westvillage.  Teppei’s been feeling the strain of not doing his part, but he launches his newly named “Nebula Engine” and with his Livelaster manages to defeat Lieben and save the planet for another day.

Lieben was more interesting that the last couple of designer children (thanks in part to Han’s usual excellence), and I like the fact that she seemed to retain so much of herself in either form, but I do find the pattern here getting a bit repetitive.  I’m ready for the story to move onto the next stage, but we do have those two additional DC to deal with, and me see the first one here – Setsuna (Kudou Haruka, who’s actually also playing chibi-Livi on Soredemo Sekai this season).  She’s linked in with the doctor in charge of Lin’s experiment and has a psychedelic squirrel of her own, so it seems safe to assume she’s going to enter the story in a quite different fashion from Lin, Zin and Ai.

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4 comments

  1. R

    I am not surprised that CE landed in the weekly digest again. Honestly, this episode doesn't make any sense. They crammed in way too much as if trying to make up for lost time. As such, neither the introduction of Lieben nor Teppei's newfound resolution (and the debut of his new shiny Nebula Engine) really stood out and both storylines never really get to gel neatly into a proper episode.

  2. m

    I'm glad they crammed it in to be honest. I'm growing tired of this "DC of the week" spiel they've got going on, and even worse is the ridiculous amount of time each episode wastes setting up backstories for them. It's not enough to make them interesting, though I agree with Enzo that this weeks was better, and it takes away from developing the main group. Worst of all is the, what feels like 10+ mins each week, wasted time having Daichi (and now Teppei added on) launch his mech. That was one of the things that bothered me most about Star Driver. Why waste so much time showing the same exact launch scene over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over….you get the point. It's to the point that I skip it every week, and it cuts out so much time that could be better spent developing the story.

  3. R

    "I'm growing tired of this "DC of the week" spiel they've got going on, and even worse is the ridiculous amount of time each episode wastes setting up backstories for them. "

    That's why I was really not fond of the episodic manner they did this arc right from the start. it would have been a lot more bearable if they did one continuous story, giving glimpses of the other DC while building up the current one.

    As for the transformation sequence, I do get the logic of the Nebula Engine having the exact same process as the Earth Engine, But yeah, that one really get annoying fast. They could have at least changed the camera angles, but no, this just have to be the same one. Man, just imagine when the girls do get their own mechs and we have to go through all four of them launching in a single episode.

  4. m

    Haha if that happens then every other episode will be nothing but transforming for the fight. I like the parts of the show where they actually go into the characters and the action parts a lot, so I'm not even close to dropping it, but I could def do without seeing the same sequence every ep. I don't watch OP/ED 13-26 times per show and I feel like this fits that same category. What if you shortened the OP/ED and got rid of the trandforming sequences? You'd have an additional 4-6mins per ep to focus on the story. Which seems small but in a 2-cour season that's a good 3-4 extra episodes worth of story.

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